An investigative group has ordered the dismissal of Tencent’s online editor-in-chief following a one-character typo in a report on Xi Jinping’s keynote speech, according to Ming Pao.
The Hong Kong newspaper reported that the mistake was made in a report on Xi Jinping’s keynote speech during a 95th anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of China on July 1. While typing “Xi Jinping delivers an important speech,” a web editor replaced a character in “deliver” for another which could mean “to have an outburst.” The two characters share the same spelling in Mandarin pinyin but have different tones.
Following the incident, a group led by the Central Publicity Department launched an investigation into Tencent Web (qq.com), said Ming Pao. It made preliminary conclusions, ordering its Editor-in-Chief Wang Yongzhi and the managing editor responsible for the typo to be dismissed.
Wang Yongzhi previously worked at the Xinhua News Agency and iFeng Weekly. Tencent Web will also switch to being overseen by Beijing’s Network Information Office instead of the Shenzhen Network Information Office, reported the paper.
Tencent Web refers to the tech giant’s integrated portal, which includes its news, social networks, entertainment products and basic services.
Sources cited by Ming Pao said the mistake incurred the wrath of higher authorities, who deemed it a “seriously negative matter” and purged Tencent Web as a result. Besides deleting the related pages, the investigative group emphasised that Tencent Web is not qualified to conduct news interviews, yet allows its editors to carry out reporting and editing work. The investigative group is also reportedly examining historical articles and articles about Chinese leaders on Kuaibao, a news app run by Tencent.
HKFP contacted Tencent for comment.